NSPIRE Demonstration Approval of Information Collection Released

On May 23, HUD will release a Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection on the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration in the Federal Register. The Notice is related to HUD’s new NSPIRE Demonstration, which will replace UPCS for agencies that opt to participate in the demonstration, however the notice does not detail the demonstration itself. More information on the actual demonstration will be forthcoming.

HUD’s Emergency Approval of an Information Collection lists the information that PHAs participating in the demonstration will be required to submit to HUD. This includes: an annual self-inspection report or work order receipts, a property profile, copies of building system certificates, local code violations over the rolling calendar year, and participation in feedback sessions.

Comments on the Notice are due 14 days after the publication of the Notice in the Federal Register.

Grants for Carbon Monoxide Detectors Announced

On Monday May 20, HUD issued a press release announcing that $5 million of the $10 million appropriated in FY 2019 for Emergency Safety and Security Capital grants will be made available to PHAs for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in public housing. HUD will continue to make the remaining $5 million available for safety and security measures to address crime, specifically drug-related crime, under the FY 2019 Emergency and Safety Security set-aside. These grant applications are still due to HUD by June 5.

Agencies interested in receiving grant funding for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors should apply for the grant via a separate application from the safety and security grants for addressing crime. PIH Notice 2016-03 will be amended to include the carbon monoxide detector grant application and eligibility requirements. HUD will notify PHAs of the application due date via email and posting at the web page referenced above.

Free Smoke-Free Compliance and Enforcement Webinar

Looking for useful tools and strategies to boost compliance and improve enforcement of a smoke-free public housing policy? Join Clean Air for All, a collaboration between NAHRO, Live Smoke Free MN, and NAR-SAAH, on June 4 to familiarize yourself with our new Smoke-Free Public Housing Compliance and Enforcement Toolkit. On this webinar, Clean Air for All will review resources from the toolkit and highlight examples and strategies that public housing agencies can utilize at their properties. The webinar will conclude with trends from a resident survey (currently underway) that illustrate resident perspectives on smoke-free public housing.

The webinar will be held Tuesday, June 4, from 12:30 – 1:30 PM.

Register here.

HCV Funding Implementation Webcast Published

Yesterday, HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) published a webcast on the notice titled “Implementation of Federal FY19 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher.” The notice was published in April, and NAHRO previously mentioned it on this blog.

The webcast published on YouTube can be found here.

PowerPoint slides from the webcast can be found here.

FY 2019 Housing Trust Fund Allocations Released

FY 2019 Housing Trust Fund (HTF) allocations will be announced in the Federal Register on Friday, May 17. Today, HUD published the allocations in the Public Inspection section of the Federal Register. HTF grantees include all 50 states, the District Columbia, and U.S. territories. The formula allocation guarantees funding to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families and to increase homeownership for extremely low- and very-low income households. Funding for FY 2019 is $247,666,778.80. While all states at least received $3 million, the formula awards bonus points to certain factors. For example, California received $32 million, New York State received $19 million, Texas $11 million, Florida $9.5 million, Illinois $8.5 million, and New Jersey received $7 million.

New Incentives for Multifamily Properties in Opportunity Zones Announced

On May 9, HUD announced new incentives for multifamily property owners applying for certain Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans in Opportunity Zones. HUD will reduce FHA mortgage insurance application fees for multifamily market-rate transactions and for transactions that meet HUD’s definition of affordable or broadly affordable when the property is located in an Opportunity Zone. Established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are designated low-income census tracts that can provide incentives to encourage investment within their community. To date, 8,761 communities in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. 

HUD is also improving the procedure for processing applications by designating HUD Senior Underwriters to process applications.

 

Proposed Rule Requires Verification of Eligible Immigration Status for HUD Assistance

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule titled “Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status.” This proposed rule purports to change how families with mixed immigration statuses receive prorated HUD assistance. Comments are due 60 days after publication.

Current Proration of HUD Assistance

Currently, families with a mixed status may apply for assistance by declaring that each member of the family is 1) a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen; or 2) decide not to contend eligible immigration status (and not submit verification documentation) for that member. Family members that declare themselves eligible must provide acceptable evidence of immigration status. Verification is provided through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system–administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The system saves the information of noncitizens. Assistance is then prorated such that only citizen-members (or eligible non-citizen-members) of families receive funding (excluding those who do not contend their eligible immigration status).

Proposed Changes

This proposed rule would make two changes to the current system. First, the proposed rule would require that all family members (except those over the age of 62) have their immigration status verified through SAVE (i.e., family members would no longer have the option to not contend their eligible immigration status). Under most covered programs, those who have not submitted evidence of eligible immigration status will be required to do so at their first regular reexamination.

Second, the proposed rule would specify that individuals that do not have a verified eligible immigration status may not serve as the head of household or spouse–i.e., the holder of the lease.

The pre-publication copy of the proposed rule can be found here.

The published in the Federal Register version can be found here (available 5/10/2019).

 

Guidance on Over-Income Implementation Process Released

On May 3rd, HUD released Notice PIH-2019-11 (HA) titled “Final Implementation of Public Housing Over-Income Limit Under the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA).” The notice provides supplemental information on the implementation process for public housing income limits, which were codified through regulation last summer.

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HUD Publishes Notice on Treatment of ABLE Accounts

[5/6/2019 (12:58 PM ET) – The original version of this post linked to the wrong notice; the links have been corrected.]

In late April, HUD published a notice titled “Treatment of ABLE Accounts in HUD-Assisted Programs” (PIH 2019-09). The notice states that for the purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy, HUD and HUD program administrators  must disregard amounts in an individual’s Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. These accounts are established by states and allow for contributions to be made to the account to benefit the designated beneficiary for qualified disability expenses. According to the notice, “[t]he designated beneficiary must be a person with disabilities, whose disability began prior to [his, her, or their] 26th birthday and who meets the statutory eligibility requirements.”

The notice requires that the entire value of the ABLE account be excluded, including actual or imputed interest on the ABLE account balance. Additionally, distributions from the ABLE account are also not considered income.

Owners and PHAs should develop a policy and procedure for verifying ABLE accounts that obtains the following:

  • the name of the designated beneficiary; and
  • the State ABLE program administering the account to verify that the account qualifies as an ABLE account.

This notice applies to the public housing program; the housing choice voucher program; project-based section 8; Section 202/162 project assistance contract; Section 202 project rental assistance contract; Section 202 senior preservation rental assistance contracts; Section 811 project rental assistance contract; Section 811 project rental assistance; Section 236; and Section 221(d)(3) and Section 221(d)(5) below market interest rate.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Releases Notice on Required Conversions

HUD recently released Notice PIH 2019-10 titled “Required Conversions.” Section 33 of the U.S. Housing Act requires PHAs to convert certain distressed public housing units to Section 8 tenant-based assistance if it would be more expensive to modernize and operate the distressed development for its remaining useful life than to provide tenant-based assistance to all residents; or if the PHA cannot assure the long-term viability of a distressed development. This Notice provides guidance on the requirement that PHAs annually review their inventories to determine whether any of their public housing developments (or parts of developments) meet the criteria for required conversion from public housing. This notice also provides guidance on developing a required conversion plan in such instances.

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